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Fred Barnes Takes a Shot at Colorado Dems -- With Jon Caldara's Help

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"The Colorado Model," an article in the July 21 Weekly Standard, gives coast-to-coast exposure to what its author, conservative Beltway Boy Fred Barnes, refers to as "an ambitious scheme" by well-heeled lefties to "crush Republicans" in the state. The tack "isn't a secret," Barnes writes, but "it hasn't drawn much national attention either. Democrats, for now anyway, seem wary of touting it. One reason for their reticence is that it depends partly on wealthy liberals' spending tons of money not only on 'independent expenditures' to attack Republican office-seekers but also to create a vast infrastructure of liberal organizations that produces an anti-Republican, anti-conservative echo chamber in politics and the media."

If these observations seem remarkably similar to stuff frequently proclaimed by Independence Institute kingpin Jon Caldara, there's a reason. As the photo above makes plain, Barnes and Caldara know each other, and they're interested in similar things -- like, for instance, weaponry.

As noted in this blog, Barnes -- memorably nicknamed "The Beetle" by PBS mainstay John McLaughlin -- was a guest at the Institute's sixth annual ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) Party on June 28 at the Kiowa Creek Sporting Club, where attendees shot off more than their mouths. It's hardly a shock, then, that the first person quoted in "The Colorado Model" is none other than Jon Caldara. "Watch out," warns the indefatigable Mr. C about the approach to activism taken by big-bucks libs such as Tim Gill, Rutt Bridges, Jared Polis and Pat Stryker. "It's coming to a state near you."

Would Barnes have heard about any of this without Caldara whispering in his ear between shotgun blasts? Perhaps -- but the information probably wouldn't have made such a loud noise. -- Michael Roberts

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